Starting congregational Fajr prayer 25 minutes before sunrise
Fatwa No: 326176

Question

I read on your website that one should pray the Fajr prayer individually if the congregation at the masjid starts only 10 minutes before sunrise. What if the congregation starts about 25 min before sunrise? Is this also a significant delay (due to which one should pray individually)?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

We restricted the answer in the fatwa (320119) that you read to the case when part of the prayer is performed after the end of its prescribed time. So if the worshiper knows that the congregation performs the whole prayer within its prescribed time, then he should pray with them and not pray individually.

However, if he knows that part of the prayer is performed outside its prescribed time, then he should pray alone. Afterwards, if he wishes, he may pray with them, and it will be considered a supererogatory prayer (naafilah) for him, as was clarified in the fatwa that you read.

We think that starting the prayer 25 minutes before sunrise is enough to perform the whole prayer on time; in which case you should pray with the congregation.

Allaah knows best.

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